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Human remains found in search for Disappeared victim Joe Lynskey

Published 25/06/2015

Maria Lynskey, pictured with a photo of her uncle Joe (PA/Photoline)
Maria Lynskey, pictured with a photo of her uncle Joe (PA/Photoline)

Human remains have been found on reclaimed bogland in the Irish Republic during a search for one of the Disappeared.

The farm in Coghalstown, Co Meath, has been examined for several months in the latest attempt to recover the body of Joe Lynskey, a former monk who went missing from west Belfast in August 1972 and was executed and secretly buried by the IRA.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains said the discov ery was made by a team of contractors under the supervision of a forensic archaeologist.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out after the remains have been recovered from the site.

The ICLVR brought in a sniffer dog late last year to help detect signs of human remains on the reclaimed bog and have been carrying out more detailed surveys and digs since March.

Mr Lynskey, a former Cistercian monk from Beechmount, Belfast, was one of 17 people abducted, killed and clandestinely dumped or buried by republicans. The IRA only admitted his murder almost 40 years on, in 2010.

The list of Disappeared includes Gareth O'Connor who was murdered in 2003. His body was recovered on June 11 2005 at Victoria Quay, Newry Canal, Co Louth.

The Commission has investigated 16 abductions and murders. To date the remains of 10 of the Disappeared have been recovered, the most recent being Brendan Megraw, whose remains were found in Oristown bog, also in Co Meath, last October.

In May Mr Lynskey's niece Maria issued a renewed appeal for help in finding her uncle's body and said she remained convinced that someone had information which could help.

The forensic dig at Coghalstown involved the painstakingly slow examination of more than six hectares of reclaimed bog.

SDLP West Belfast MLA Alex Attwood said: "The thoughts of everyone today will be with the family of Joe Lynskey and with all the families of the Disappeared.

"The resilience and dignity of the families has been remarkable. It should inform everyone that the Past must be addressed comprehensively and ethically.

"Nothing less will be good enough or measure up to the needs of victims and survivors."

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